For just over a month now, the team at Kaliba has been working from home and I thought what better time to reflect and have a think about what it has actually taught us.
I will start by saying that 2020 was destined to be a big year, both personally and professionally.
On a personal level, my son recently turned one, I married my beautiful wife at our dream wedding and followed it up by a dream honeymoon in the Maldives. I consider myself very lucky that everything went ahead, and we got to celebrate the way we did.
Professionally, we had big plans to build on a highly successful 2019 for our tech recruitment business, not only with our clients, but to also grow the team and support that growth by implementing a full-blown marketing strategy.
As we know, things do not always go to plan and this year is probably the best example of that. If someone said two months ago that they could predict the whole country let alone the whole world
would virtually be in lockdown, I would have called them a liar. However, here I am in the front room of my home working in isolation, typing away this reflection.
So, what has this pandemic taught us?
The number one lesson thus far is that you can make the most out of any situation – good or bad – the mindset with which you approach that situation is what will see you through.
Here's what I've learnt so far...
1. Cherish the extra time with family
Normally, I work relatively long hours. I'm in the office before 7am and leave around 6pm. Throw the commute in there and you have yourself 12+ hour days. These hours don't allow for a huge amount of family time, so it has been nice to be able to get my son up of a morning, give him breakfast and spend time with him at lunch; time that I wouldn’t normally get.
On the flip side, there are the distractions that come with having a 14-month-old, and at times it can be difficult to concentrate. That said, I realise I will never get these moments again, so I am grateful for this bonus time with the family.
2. Stick to a routine
Initially while working from home, I found it hard to get into a routine, but the sooner I did the easier it all became.
I aim to get up at 5am most mornings, go for a walk or a run and start the day with some fresh air. Shower, breakfast, get my son Archie up, give him some breakfast and the work day starts at 8am. I try to be done by 5pm so that I can help out with the home duties.
Point is, to be remain productive, make sure you have a plan for your day, stick to that plan and you will find you achieve your goals.
3. Collaboration is as important as ever
Being a Recruiter and not having the face-to-face interaction with people is tough. So at Kaliba, we have ensured that we are catching up with one another at least twice a day using remote group-chat communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
Most of that catch up time is work related so we can talk about business requirements, candidates and what is happening in the recruitment world, but some of it will be just catching up, having a chat and checking in on each other's general wellbeing. I suggest you do this with your work colleagues, as well as family and friends. You will be amazed at how powerful it is to show genuine interest, and how much your team appreciate a collaborative and supportive workplace.
4. Remote working as a recruiter is possible
Traditionally, recruiters work from an office for the bulk of their week, and we have been no different. What COVID-19 has taught me is that working from home productively and collaboratively can be done, and provided you have the right people with the right mentality, and the right tech enabling systems in place, they can be effective and they can get sh*t done!
5. Use the time you have wisely
The traditional workload may have eased, but that does not mean you should slack off and be unproductive. In this past couple of weeks alone, together with my co-founder and business partner, Greg Brown, in conjunction with our Marketing Consultant (Jeannette Borg) and the team at LinkedIn (Emma O’Connell and Maggie McNab), we have facilitated training sessions as well as implemented some new initiatives that will be in play from next week.
There is always a silver lining. There are plenty of courses you can do online, and many of them are currently free or heavily discounted. LinkedIn Learning offer some great courses, in addition to other e-learning platforms (Pluralsight is one of these). Whatever it is, use the time wisely because you may never get a chance like this again.
As I said earlier, it is how you attack any situation which will see you through. One thing I can say is that so far, the team at Kaliba have approached the working from home scenario brilliantly and I am very proud of how they have gone about it. Not once have they complained, whinged or felt sorry for themselves. They have bought in just like they do when we are in the office and they should be proud of their efforts.
I will finish by saying that this will not last forever and it is so important that we help each other out where possible. The majority of us are experiencing the same challenges right now, so do the right thing. Stay positive and it will make things that little bit easier.
If you've got any thoughts, suggestions or advice on working productively from home, I'd love to hear from you. Reach out to to me via email, or comment below in the comments section on what works/doesn't work for you.